Hello everyone!  First off- a little background on my current job track.  I'm a student who works part-full time depending on the season.  For the past year, I've been working as an optician for an eye wear company, and loving my job.  My manager is respectful, cares about his employees and have enough faith in my abilities to leave me to my own devices and not micromanage.  I've grown in sales and done very well there, with a lot of it due to my amazing manager's support and guidance.  ---- now that summer had come, i was considering taking another job to add to my hours to help pay for school. A salon owner came into the shop and mentioned that one of his stylists had noticed me, and offered me a job running the front desk.  Its right down the street, and i thought that it would be decent pay for school. 

Current situation- The salon owner is nice, but not quite as amazing as my other boss.  He tends to micromanage me, giving me a new job to do any time that he sees me idle.  This can be frustrating because most times I am haulting between jobs because I see a client who is about to need a checkout, etc. 

My main problem-  I was not given much training at my salon job, and basically left to my own devices.  I've done well there making my own system, creating excel documents for inventory reports and calling our suppliers about shipment adjustments.  However, my boss calls and texts me outside of work for every mistake I make that he notices once I'm gone. The first time was about me booking him a new client that he did not want (i was never told about his specifications due to lack of training....), and today it was about me leaving a coffee cup on the window ledge by my table.  Now i admit that these are both real problems that I need to work on, but is texting me outside of work a bit insulting?  I'm a big fan of face to face conversations and progress reports, and this seems a bit passive aggressive.  Today he sent me a picture of the coffee cup  with a note that said...' you always leave these out'.....

how...should i approach this? 

Kevin1's picture


My advice would be not to worry about it.  It is hardly going to be your career, and the Salon owner clearly doesn't have a clue how to manage people.  Just accept his poorly delivered feedback and adjust as necessary.  Remember to make a note of these kinds of things in your Delta File - the file you keep of all the management crapola that you are determined never to inflict on your team members in the future.

You look like you are destined for bigger and better things in the future.  Don't worry too much about it.

Kind regards


mayday112's picture

Thank you very much for the response- you are completely right and I shall cease to 'sweat it' from here on out.  I like the idea of a Delta file as well....

mattpalmer's picture

You've been blessed with a pretty great first boss, and so the salon boss seems like a horrible tyrant -- but, in the context of all bosses, you're not too badly off.  In general, I second Kevin's advice to not let it bother you too much, it isn't worth making yourself more upset about.

That being said, there are some active steps you could take to make your time at the salon more comfortable.  Based on what you've said, I'm thinking your DISC profile includes "high I" (meaning your fairly assertive and outgoing, and interested in people), while the salon boss has "high C" (which means that he is more reserved, and is focused more on tasks and details than people).  These are two communication styles that are opposites in every way, which will be contributing to you two "clashing" somewhat.  As an aside, it sounds like your optician boss leans a lot closer to being a "high I", which means that the two of you communicate in similar ways, which helps to build that relationship.

Assuming my assessment isn't totally off the mark, there are some things you can do to make yourself a little more "high C" in the way you communicate, which will probably help to smooth things over:

  • Sweat the details.  It sounds like you're doing a fair amount of this already (building spreadsheets, calling suppliers -- if I had a part-timer doing that stuff, I'd be over the moon), and I'd say your boss probably really appreciates it -- but for a detail-oriented "high C", there's no such thing as "too perfect", and nobody's work (their own included) is ever quite right.  So, double-check your work, make sure the coffee cups get put away, and in general just make sure that you're keeping things ship-shape.
  • Don't expect outpourings of emotion.  The combination of "reserved" and "task focused" means that your boss is unlikely to ever give you effusive praise.  That doesn't mean that he doesn't appreciate your help, or even that he won't thank you subtly for your hard work, but if your other boss is regularly saying clearly, "that's great work!" and "I really appreciate what you've done!" it can be tricky to spot the far more subtle forms that your salon boss is probably using.
  • Use e-mail / texts.  I don't mean "never talk face-to-face", but err on the side of sending an e-mail or text rather than holding onto information until the next time you see your boss.  "High C" people love data, lots of it, so keep your e-mails/texts well-written, with lots of detail, and keep the smileys, exclamation points, and "text speak" (if you use it) to a minimum.  Incidentally, your initial message on this thread was very good in that regard.
  • Make it obvious you take his feedback seriously.  This one applies to any boss, but a "high C" will appreciate it even more.  When your boss gives you feedback, say "thank you for mentioning that to me.  I understand what you're saying, and I'll make sure I <something that will fix the problem> from now on."  Then, by all that is holy, make sure you do it!  There's a cast entitled "How to Receive Feedback" (part 1, part 2) which goes into Manager Tools' usual fine detail about what to do, and why.

If you'd like to go really into this DISC stuff, there are a number of free Manager Tools casts on the subject, as well as a separate product consisting of podcasts that describe how to deal with interactions between manager and direct of every different DISC profile type.  It's probably useful to be sure of your own DISC profile first, and Manager Tools sells access to an online testing tool ($28, takes about 30 minutes).

I'm pretty confident that, if you adjust your communication style a little bit, you'll have a much smoother relationship with your boss, and if you get into practice doing this now, this early in your career, you will have an amazingly powerful tool to use for the rest of your life.

Completely off the topic, does anyone else find that talking about "high C" people all the time inexplicably makes you want a glass of orange juice?